Put on a happy face! Shopping for cosmetics at the chain drugstores

I recently went through my small cosmetics stash. I can’t remember the last time I bought new make-up. It might have been two years ago when Gilly Hicks had an online sale. At that time I bought some lovely eye shadows, lip glosses and blush all in shades of soft, glittery pinks.

Now, though, these colors seem too pale and too understated for the change in image I’m undertaking. Since I’m once again drafting patterns and sewing clothes inspired by the fashions of the late 1940s and 1950s, I thought it would be enjoyable to seek out some old school cosmetics in old school colors.

Before The Great Recession caused me to rethink and reapproach how I shop, I’d think nothing of going to Macy’s Department Store on 34th Street in Mahattan. There I could always count on a skilled make-up artist from Elizabeth Arden to select just the right shades that were becoming.

I now look back and wonder how I could ever have spent upwards of $20 or more for eye make-up or lipstick. Times and ways of thinking have definitely changed my approach.

I wasn’t sure where to start my search in the quest to find the make-up I need. This was where the weekly circulars that are distributed with The Marketeer throughout Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Sunset Park came in handy for me.

The RiteAid brochure announced a sale on Revlon cosmetics which I was eager to check out. I remember Revlon ads from the late 1950s when I was a little girl. I’d see them in the magazines my maternal Grandmother always had on the coffee table. My awareness of the brand name has endured through all these years because Revlon continues to offer colors that they manufactured in earlier decades and which have proved to be loved and sought after throughout the time after they first came to market.

Revlon lipsticks from left to right: Cherries in the Snow, Fire and Ice and Love that Pink.

I was very pleased when I found the classic shades Revlon made in the 1950s and 1960s still available at my local Rite Aid. I selected Cherries in the Snow, Fire and Ice and Love that Pink.

Left to right: Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, Maybelline Eyebrow Pencil and Revlon Under Eye Concealer.

In keeping with the 1950s look I decided to keep eye make-up to a minimum. While Maybelline Great Lash Mascara is not a 1950s version of their product, I decided to buy it for the nostalgia factor. Maybelline mascara used to be sold in the drug stores around Dyker Heights when I was a little girl. At that time it came in a cake form in a little case that included a brush. The brush was moistened with water and rubbed over the mascara before applying to the eyelashes. It was not a good product at that time, I remember my Mom telling me she gave up wearing mascara after my Dad said she looked like a raccoon whenever it smeared under her eyes.

From left to right: Revlon Crème Powder and Crème Blush.

My Mom never liked liquid foundation and neither do I. It was easy for me to select the Revlon cream powder and blush because it is light and offers enough color without being heavy.

My total outlay for what is shown here was $58.76 before tax. All in all I think I got a good buy for my new cosmetics. I realize that the higher cost of designer brand cosmetics purchased at department stores is due in part to the presence and services of a trained cosmetician to guide one through the process. But given that my Mom, Grandmothers and Aunties would frequently advise me on all matters of make-up, dress and grooming I decided that their advice stands the test of time. I decided to rely on their past expertise and think I got a good buy for my money plus the recollection of some very good memories in the process.

The Rite Aid where I bought these products is at 6423 Forth Hamilton Parkway, Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Please note: I am not affiliated with any manufacturer or store.

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